WPPL 20-02 (Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Program Policy)
Workforce Program Policy Letters No. 20-02
July 30, 2020
TO: Workforce Services Managers, Supervisors, Employment Professionals, and Employment Services Support Team
FROM: Kimberly Hall, Director
SUBJECT: Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Program Policy

I.Purpose

To provide guidelines for the delivery of the RESEA program, including the use of RESEA funds for delivering additional reemployment services.

II.Effective Date

Immediately

III.Background

Authorized through the Social Security Act, the Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) program is a federal grant program designed to allow states to provide intensive reemployment assistance to individuals who are receiving unemployment benefits and are determined likely to exhaust their benefits before becoming reemployed.

There is strong evidence that interventions and services provided through RESEA are effective in getting individuals back to work.  These efforts have been shown to reduce the number of weeks an individual claims unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and improve earnings received when returning to employment.

RESEA funds must be used for interventions or service delivery strategies demonstrated to reduce the average number of weeks participants receive benefits by improving participant employment outcomes, which include earnings.

The purposes of the RESEA program are:

  • To improve employment outcomes of Unemployment Insurance (UI) recipients and to reduce the average duration of UI receipt through employment;
  • To strengthen program integrity and reduce improper UI payments through detection and prevention of such payments to ineligible individuals;
  • To promote the alignment with the broader vision of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of increased program integration and service delivery for job seekers, including UI claimants; and
  • To establish reemployment services and eligibility assessments as an entry point for UI claimants into other workforce system partner programs. 

IV.Requirements

Selecting Claimants to Participate in RESEA

Ohio uses a statistical model to score each claimant meeting the requirements for participation in reemployment services (i.e. have an allowed claim with the first week paid during the prior week, within five weeks of the benefit beginning date, not returning to their jobs, not attending approved training, and who do not utilize a union hiring hall).  The higher the claimant’s score, the more likely that claimant will exhaust UI benefits and need assistance with reemployment.

The statistical model uses several data elements, including but not limited to:

  • Claimant’s occupation;
  • The unemployment rate in claimant’s county of residence as provided by the state’s Labor Market data;
  • The length of time claimant has been unemployed; and
  • The length of time claimant worked for his/her previous employer. 

Claimants are then listed by score from highest to lowest. 

Claimants whose unemployment benefits are based on military wages are given the highest possible score, and when claimant resides in a county that delivers the RESEA program, he/she is automatically selected to participle in the program.  Selections are made from the list until the OhioMeansJobs Center reaches capacity.

Mandatory Participants

Once selected, participation in the RESEA program is mandatory unless the claimant establishes that he/she meets the condition for non-participation.  For more information, see the Reasons for Non-Participation section.

RESEA Program Components

Claimants selected to participate in the RESEA program must complete an initial RESEA and subsequent RESEA.

For each initial RESEA, the claimant must, at a minimum:

  • View an online introduction video known as, Ohio’s Introduction Video;
  • Complete a UI eligibility review that is conducted on a one-on-one basis, which must include review of work search activities, and referral to adjudication when a potential issue is identified;
  • Be provided customized labor market and career information based on an assessment of the claimant’s needs, including information about in-demand occupations;
  • Be enrolled in the Wagner-Peyser Act-Funded Employment Service program;
  • Receive information and referral to additional reemployment services and other OhioMeansJobs center services, resources, and training, as appropriate; and
  • Receive an Individualized Opportunity Plan (IOP) jointly developed by the claimant and RESEA staff that identifies the claimant’s reemployment goals and determines the combination of services needed for the claimant to reach his/her reemployment goals.  The plan may include work search activities, recommendations on accessing services at the OhioMeansJobs center or through self-service tools, and/or training.

For each subsequent RESEA session, the claimant must at a minimum:

  • Complete an OhioMeansJobs center orientation (prior to the subsequent RESEA session);
  • Complete a UI eligibility assessment and a review of the claimant’s work search activities to determine when additional assistance may be needed to support the claimant’s compliance with the work search requirements and the claimant’s return to work at the earliest possible time;
  • Be provided customized labor market and career information, when claimant changes the type of work he/she is seeking;
  • Review and revise, when necessary the claimant’s IOP;
  • Be scheduled for additional career/reemployment service and/or training, when needed; and
  • Be referred to Employment Services for follow-up.

Program Delivery

Delivery of RESEA Program

RESEA staff are responsible for delivering program services within the OhioMeansJobs centers, including:

  • Conducting initial RESEA appointments;
  • Rescheduling the initial RESEA appointments when notified;
  • Scheduling and rescheduling the subsequent/follow-up appointments;
  • Providing reemployment services to claimants selected to participate in the program; and
  • Providing reminder calls to claimants scheduled to participate in the program and to those selected to participate in the program who have not completed the required tasks in OhioMeansJobs.com.

RESEA funds may not be used to pay for training services, such as GED classes or to pay for licenses for an assessment tool. RESEA staff may refer claimants to the WIOA program or other available funding streams. If claimants are determined eligible under additional programs, those programs may fund training and other costs related to training.

Service Delivery Timeline

Scheduling Initial RESEA Sessions

When selected for the RESEA program, the claimant will have 21 calendar days to complete the required activities using OhioMeansJobs.com (i.e. view the introduction video, complete the assessment, and schedule the initial RESEA session).  Once the 21 calendar days or end-date has passed, the links within OhioMeansJobs.com for completion of the assessment and scheduling of the initial RESEA appointment are removed from claimant’s OhioMeansJobs.com account.

RESEA staff must assist the claimant in completing the required activities outlined above when:

a.Claimant is legally prohibited from using a computer.

b.Claimant has a physical or visual impairment that makes the individual unable to use a computer; or

c.Claimant has limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.

Requirement Deadline
Claimant is selected to participate in RESEA Claimant has 21 calendar days to view introduction video, complete the UI eligibility assessment, and schedule a one on one session
Claimant is scheduled to participate in a subsequent RESEA session At the conclusion of the initial RESEA session, subsequent RESEA session must be at least 10 to 14 business days after completion of the initial RESEA; but no more than 21 business days after completion
All RESEA services must be entered in Ohio’s designated case management system Services must be entered on the date of the session or at the time the service is scheduled/completed
 

Rescheduling Initial RESEA Sessions

Claimants who contact ODJFS before their RESEA session and request to change the schedule of an initial or subsequent RESEA date or time for good cause, such as a scheduled job interview, should be accommodated.  When the claimant’s reason for rescheduling is other than a job interview, the claimant must be forewarned that rescheduling may affect benefit payments and any potential eligibility issues identified as part of rescheduling must be reported to the processing center by RESEA staff.

Extending Deadline for Completion of the Initial RESEA

RESEA staff may extend the deadline date for completion of RESEA required activities up to the benefit year ending date.  When extending the deadline, the new deadline date is 21 calendar days from the date of entry and RESEA activities will be available in OhioMeansJobs.com beginning the next calendar day.

Before extending the deadline date, RESEA staff must determine when the claimant is still required to participate in the program.  When the claimant meets the requirements for non-participation or claimant has returned to work since filing for unemployment and worked more than four weeks, extending is not required and the claimant may be advised that he/she is no longer required to participate in the program.

Program Services

For a list of program services, review the RESEA Program Delivery Guide located on the RESEA innerweb site at https://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/RESEA.stm.

Non-Participation Reasons

Under limited circumstances, claimants selected to participate in the RESEA program may have this requirement removed when claimant meets the requirement for being exempted, waived, return/returning to work, or when the UI claimant is disallowed. 

Exempted from Participation

After being selected to participate in the RESEA programs, claimants are not required to complete RESEA activities when they have:

  • Completed the same or similar services within the prior 12 months.

Before exempting a claimant from participation due to the claimant attending or completing the same or similar services, RESEA staff must consider the services received by a claimant.

When the former employer provides outplacement services, RESEA staff must determine whether the claimant receives similar services as those available through the RESEA program (e.g. career and labor market information, job search assistance).  Resume writing assistance alone provided by a former employer is not reason enough to exempt a claimant from the RESEA program.

The Transition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as TAP, provides information, tools, and training to ensure military service members and their spouses are prepared for the next step in civilian life whether the member or his/her spouse is pursuing education, finding a job in the public or private sector, or starting their own business.  According to the National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI), this program should not be used in place of the RESEA program since the information provided as part of TAP is not specific to the member’s resident state.

  • Justifiable cause exists for not participating when the claimant has a condition lasting more than four consecutive weeks (e.g. ability, availability). No exemption will apply for an on-going eligibility issue until at least four weeks are affected by the issue and weeks are either denied or not claimed.
  • Justifiable cause also exists when the claimant moves to another Ohio county that does not deliver the RESEA program or when the claimant moves out of state since only Ohio residents are required to participate in the program.

When information available raises the question of whether the claimant should be exempt from program participation, an email must be sent to the RESEA@jfs.ohio.gov account to request approval for exemption.  The email must include the claimant name, claimant ID, and explanation of why the claimant should be exempt.  If approved, the RESEA support team will notify the RESEA staff member and report the exemption in OWCMS.  Only after approval is given should the RESEA staff member advise the claimant that he/she is no longer required to participate in the program.

Waived from Participation

At the time of applying for UI benefits, the work search assignment is made by the UI benefit system.  When a claimant has an employer-verified definite return to work date, is attending school/approved training, or seeks work through a union hiring hall and provides proof, the processing center will change the work search assignment. 

When the claimant reports attending school/training or seeking work through a union hiring hall after being selected to participate in the RESEA program, RESEA staff cannot waive the requirement to participate in the RESEA program unless the processing center changes the claimant’s work search assignment in the UI benefit system. 

When information available raises the question of whether the claimant should be waived from program participation, and the work search assignment is not waived within seven days of the claimant’s deadline date, RESEA staff must email the RESEA@jfs.ohio.gov account.  The email must include the claimant name, claimant ID, and explanation of why the claimant should be waived from participation.  The RESEA support team will work with the processing center to have the work search assignment changed.  If the work search assignment is changed, the RESEA support team will notify the RESEA staff member and report the waiver in OWCMS.  Only after the work search change should the RESEA staff member advise claimant that he/she is no longer required to participate in the program.

Returned to Work

When the claimant indicates he/she has returned to work or will return to work within four weeks of the scheduled appointment or deadline to complete RESEA activities, the RESEA staff must document the following information:  employer name, address, name of contact person (for agency’s verification purposes), the contact’s phone number, position/job title, rate of pay, and the employment start date.  The requirement to participate cannot be removed unless the claimant provides all required employment information.  This information must also be provided to the processing center.

Claim Disallowed

When the claimant’s benefit year is disallowed, the requirement to participate in the RESEA program is removed.  If the claimant wishes to receive reemployment services, he/she must be referred to Employment Services staff or community partners for assistance.

Record Retention Schedule

The retention schedule for RESEA records is five years. OhioMeansJobs Centers must retain the session folder in the office for one year, and then forward the folder to the Records Center for retention for four years.

RESEA staff will collect and maintain a session folder to include:

  • OMJ Center Sign-In Sheets
  • Workshop Attendance Sheets
  • Job Contacts
  • Resumes

Reporting Program Outcomes

All claimants selected to participate in an initial or subsequent RESEA, who are not exempt, have been waived, have returned to work, or have a claim disallowed must have a reported outcome.  The outcome reported must be either completed, failed to schedule one-on-one assessment (or initial RESEA), failed to report to scheduled one-on-one assessment (or initial RESEA), or failed to report to scheduled follow-up (or subsequent RESEA). When a claimant fails to schedule or report for an RESEA session, UI benefits may be denied indefinitely or until claimant participates in the required session.

V.Monitoring

In addition to managers and supervisors, the RESEA support office is also responsible for monitoring delivery of the RESEA program in each local OhioMeansJobs center.

VI.Technical Assistance

For additional information and technical assistance, please email RESEA@jfs.ohio.gov.

VII.References

Unemployment Insurance Policy Letter No. 8-20

Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 9-19

Ohio Revised Code, Sections 4141.13 (N), 4141.29 (A) (7), 4141.29 (L)

Attachment A:  Glossary of RESEA terms